North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


May 2, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: Turn your spring fever into funtime

COMMENTARY — It’s getting close to the end of the school year and there are plenty of kids out there who can hardly wait to get out of the classroom and into the real world.

Let your mind wander back to the days of sitting in a desk. No, not your office desk where you get paid to sit and be bored...   go back to the days of sitting in a crowded classroom listening to a teacher lecture for hours on things that could not be less interesting to you.

Yes, the days of staring at the clock on the wall and trying your best to keep your eyes open for the three hours after lunch break.

No one gets spring fever worse than school kids, and that’s completely understandable. Can you remember being in school and wanting nothing more than to bolt out the door for the afternoon, to play with your friends outside in the sun that was currently making you doze off in your chair? It is almost torturous to expect kids to pay attention in class when the weather is warm, and the creek is calling their names.

But alas, here we are in the month of May, the weather is beautiful and yet our kids are in school all day long. So what can we, as adults, do to help our kids get over the spring fever hump?

Well, the possibilities are endless. Most parents pick up their kids from school or day care while it is still daylight out during the spring months. So why don’t we give them something to do?

Take an afternoon trip to the park with your younger children. They will enjoy the time with mommy and daddy, and it probably wouldn’t kill you to get out in the natural sunlight for a few hours. If your children are a bit older you can always take them to a skate park, or take the family pet to a dog park for some much needed playtime for everyone in the family.

I can remember when I was younger, my grandparents kept us until my parents got off of work. When the leaves would start to change, whether fall or spring, we would always take one special day and ride up to some wooded terrain for a look at nature. We would pack our favorite snacks and drinks, and stop on the side of the road to have a snack and play with the nature that was just hanging out all around us.

The point that I’m trying to make is that  we do a great injustice to our kids when we come home tired, neglecting to just have fun with them. In this scenario, I am the chief of sinners. Just last night I rushed through the doors, started supper and had no time to just sit and play with my girls. They played with each other of course, but there was mommy time in there. Supper had to be prepared, clothes needed to be washed and the last thing on my mind was kicking up some dirt in the front yard.

After the food was eaten, the dishes were done and the girls were resting in bed, I was finally ready for some relaxing time with my girls, but it was too late by then. They were sacked out from a long day of school and day care, and I was mentally exhausted from work.

On days like that, we all lose. I miss out on my girl time with my babies, and they miss out on having mommy’s attention. Don’t let these days happen too often, or it will become your lifestyle.

Make the change in the weather the perfect excuse for you to make a change in the order of afternoon events. Venture out past the front porch with those school-aged kids. Leave work a little early to toss a ball with your son. Load up the swim suites and hit up the splash pad for a couple of hours before heading home.

Go out of your way to make new and exciting memories with your children. They won’t forget it when you take that kind of time for them.

Text Only
  • Danielle Cater: Bass fishing is just in my blood

    I was born the daughter of a fisherman. My dad was the pastor of a local church and the manager at various Jefferson County Waste Water Treatment plants, but anyone who knows him, knows he is a fisherman at heart.

    July 21, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Making memories not that hard

    Do you spoil your kids? Do you spend enough on them? What really matters when it comes to the well-being of your children? These questions are real doozies and I think the answers vary according to the family.

    July 9, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Graduation leads to hard decisions

    The caps and gowns are ordered, the invitations have been mailed. Checks are being written all across the country, it must be graduation time.

    May 29, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Longevity in marriage still possible

    I have officially seen it with my own eyes. I have witnessed it with my own life. Yes, I have seen a couple who has been married 60 years and still love each other. Even more than that, they still respect each other and still genuinely love to be around each other.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: ‘Girl in the front’ loves her job

    I’m 33 years old. Yes, I just admitted that. The reason I throw this fact out there so freely is that I have now, officially, been working for the North Jefferson News for over 10 years. That’s right, almost 1/3 of my life has been spent behind this desk. (And yes, I’ve had the same desk all 10 years.)

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: What memories are you leaving?

    Death hurts. It hurts when it hits close to home and it hurts when it hits the people who are closest to you.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Life is precious from the beginning

    The media is all abuzz this week over the story of a woman who apparently gave birth to seven babies in the last 10 years without anyone’s knowledge, then killed her babies and stored them in boxes in her garage.

    April 24, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014